At the end of my therapy session, I realized how I made decisions based on my history; I lost many friends and became super independent. It was good, but then it stopped me from accepting support or receiving love from other people. In part two, I will explain how my two last counselling sessions helped me build resilience.
What is resilience
Before going further, I’m going to explain what is resilience from Emmerance’s understanding. Resilience is the ability to cope and adjust in the face of adversity. It helps you bounce back to your daily routine when something stressful happens.
Resilience comes with many qualities, qualities like self-awareness, maintaining healthy relationships, controlling your emotions, and staying connected with your values. When you’re resilient, all four qualities help you maintain a certain level of stress in your life, which is good for your mental and physical health.
Going back to my counselling sessions, as I mentioned in part 1, my therapist was more like a friend to me. He helped me think and point out things that I never realized.
In my second session, my therapist told me to listen to the “scared.” I was always telling him how I wanted to do something, but I was scared of something terrible to happen. For example, I was afraid to receive love, and the person would stop loving me or I was scared to move out of my parent’s place, and they will stress because I’m not home.
What I did on my end, between my counselling sessions, was writing down my emotions. Afterwards, I realized that I had a bad habit that needed to change. Many of us have this mindset where when everything is going well, we start thinking that it’s too good to be true, so something terrible will happen. Therefore, this would make me stress more often.
My third session
In my third session, I shared with my therapist what my scared self was saying; I pointed out a few habits I had when I was little, and why I thought it was affecting me up to this day. Building relationships and socializing were once one of my weaknesses.
I was very impressed by the level of professionalism my therapist had. He paid attention to my wording and a bonus; he read my mind. When I said something negative, he stopped me and pointed it out, so I started paying attention to my words.
For example, I would say that I was terrible at building relationships, that I would be there for the person, but I fear that it would end. He would repeat my negative sentence: you’re bad at relationships? And correct me: Why not change that wording and say that you’re good or going to be good at relationships?
Anyways, you get the idea. After that, my therapist taught me about transactional analysis. He told me that if I wanted, I could look into it, but he gave me the big picture.
Triangle Transactional analysis
There’s three states or positions; as we grow, we become adults obviously. Still, we also have the parent (which is most likely how our parents treated us) and the child (which is how we were).
Adult at the top
As an adult, we think, feel and act emotionally mature. An adult might have reason and rationality: as an adult, you understand and manage your emotions, regulate them and express them adequately. We stay in this state as much as we can.
When the time comes, we switch into a parent. We start thinking, feeling and acting as our parents would like us to act or another authority. We can be a different kind of parents, more like how the authority treated us when we were under their wings. If you grew up with a loving and nurturing parent, then you will most likely be loving and nurturing to yourself. If you grew up with an absent parent, you will most likely feel weird or ignore some of your emotions.
When something happens, either negative or positive, we think and feel like a child. We all had a different childhood, but you can think about the times you got in trouble and analyze how your parents treated you. If you had a loving and nurturing parent, you would be a warm, playful child.
We all have the adult activated 24/7 in us. However, the parent and the child gets triggered. These can get triggered when you’re dealing with other people or do something you’re not proud of.
You should look into the transactional analysis
When he showed me that, I had to write it down and do my own research. I loved the logic behind it, and there are many good books that you can read as Games People Play by Eric Berne or Why You Act The Way You Do by Tim LaHaye. I read Games people play, and it enlighted me.
Understanding psychology is essential, and I wish everyone could take a moment to look into it. You will understand yourself and others. You will know why you act the way you do when stress is becoming overwhelming, and what you should be doing when triggered.
My fourth session & last
Two weeks later, I had my fourth and last session. After I read my books and analyzed what was going on around me, I realized that this session was the last. When the conversation started, I told my therapist that I did my research on the transactional analysis, which made me understand many things.
I’m a positive person; overall, I don’t get mad quickly, and I’m good at communicating. However, when you spend years and years letting people take advantage of you, you become skeptical. You can only trust two people in your life and let the rest exist around you.
You build boundaries between you and your siblings, but the trust wouldn’t be there. That was me, it’s not something that you can just turn the page and be different, but you learn to adjust.
Hence, I built my resilience, one of the qualities that my therapist helped me with was self-awareness. I learned that I do have many weaknesses and strengths.
Forgiveness is healing
I was able to forgive people without speaking to them directly. This includes family. I’ve always known that parenting wasn’t the easiest thing. However, during my last session, I realized that whatever my parents taught me was their best way to parent. I mean, we are a big family, so I’m more grateful than hurt.
I can only be a better parent to myself and to my future kids. I also told him that I would go out more and socialize, build relationships and even start dating again.
When I told him that this would be my last session, he was very happy for me. We started talking about my plans and what I would start doing to build myself up again. He made sure that I was convinced that it would be my last session, and if I needed to do it again, I can just call him or send an e-mail.
After a month, he reached out to me by e-mail to make sure that everything was going well with me. I told him about my progress and how I was coping with my life and work. I gave a second chance to love, participated in webinars, and kept working out.
What I learned from the whole experience
Back to resilience, apart from being self-aware, my counselling sessions helped me build healthy relationships. I found ways to be loving and nurturing to myself when my emotions are negative. I don’t ignore my feelings, I’m not hard on myself, and I speak up for myself.
When something triggers my “child,” I learned how to be nurturing and loving. As in taking a walk for an hour-long, stop working out and rest, or eat whatever I’d like for the day or just dance and have fun with myself.
I’m able to balance my work and personal life. When something stressful happens, I realized that I can still be productive and deal with stress later. I learned to be vulnerable to the people I trust the most, speak about my life to them helps.
This is an every day battle because you don’t know what tomorrow holds. One day you’re having a wonderful time, and the next day someone breaks your heart. I learned how to let myself cry when I needed to, and take a walk when I wanted to or just breathe.
The reason why I sought therapy was to know if I needed it. Turns out that I did, and it tremendously helped me. As I mentioned in part 1, if you believe that you’re not in the right place, I suggest you seek counselling.
It might not be family issues or childhood trauma. It can be someone that broke your heart, and you’re unable to love again. I recommend counselling to those that want to get married and build a family, don’t bring the baggage in your new life.
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An absolutely beautiful read! Definitely something I would like to explore! Thanks for providing your insight!
Thank you for reading Ib 🙂